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Pennsylvania made it illegal to text and drive five years ago. That hasn’t stopped some drivers from texting or using their phones in other ways as there are still drivers being pulled over for distracted driving. Over the course of the past three years, the number of people using electronic devices while driving, even with headphones, has increased by 52 percent. This is a significant number in a state that has outlawed those actions. This information has been released by the Administrative Office of the Pennsylvania Courts as it examines reasons why drivers are pulled over and charged.
Lehigh and Northampton counties have seen the most citations in recent years. There have been 171 citations issued to drivers in the two counties since 2016. There were only 110 citations issued in 2014. These numbers mean that more drivers are risking their own safety while driving as well as the safety of others on the road by choosing to use a cell phone or electronic device when they are behind the wheel of a car.
The law in Pennsylvania has been made clear that noncommercial drivers are not allowed to use a smartphone while they are driving in order to text. However, they can use the phone to make a call or use an app that allows them to get directions. When officers stop a driver for using an electronic device, it’s sometimes hard to tell how the driver was using the phone. Since the law went into effect, officers are now finding that it’s harder than ever to determine what drivers are doing on their phones as they will find more ways to hide what they are doing. Trooper Adam Reed has pulled numerous people over for using their electronics illegally while driving. Officers are looking for anything that relates to distracted driving, not just drivers who have a phone in their hands.
There is a new law that targets commercial drivers. It was enacted in 2015 and forbids these drivers from texting or calling when they are driving unless it’s an emergency. The restrictions were put in place because of the size of commercial vehicles compared to the size of standard cars and trucks even though there is still a possibility of a crash occurring with either type of vehicle. Drivers who are charged with distracted driving could face up to five years in prison if a death occurs while the driver is texting. If someone is injured, then the person could spend up to two years in prison.
Distracted driving continues to be an issue in Pennsylvania and many innocent people are injured as a result. If you or a loved one is injured in a distracted driving accident, reach out to Pennsylvania Car Accident Lawyers. We have the resources to get you in touch with an experienced distracted driving accident attorney in your area that can help seek compensation for your injuries. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.